In response to criticism of the BBC’s coverage of paganism during Halloween, the BHA has argued that any accusation that Christianity is neglected or overlooked in the level of coverage it receives is unfounded.
Christian groups have described the coverage of pagan rituals during the pagan festival of Samhain as more proof that Christianity is being undermined in broadcasting. This is despite the fact that, under the terms of the BBC service licence, BBC One together with BBC Two should broadcast at least 110 hours of religious programming each year.
Pepper Harow, BHA Campaigns Officer commented, ‘In reality, the overwhelming majority of this significant proportion of airtime is devoted to the exposition of Christianity. With the BBC’s extensive reporting of the Papal State visit in September, including twelve and half hours live coverage alone, this target of 110 hours is likely to be exceeded.
‘Even the Church of England recognises the generous treatment offered by the BBC, and in May commended the level of religious coverage in their response to the BBC Trust Review, welcoming Radio 4’s transmission of 225 hours of religious content which was 25 hours more than specified in their service licence.
Ms Harow concluded ‘When we take a look at the facts of the matter, it is evident that far from being neglected by the state broadcaster, the level of broadcasting concerning religion on the BBC is disproportionate in relation to the small and ever decreasing number of active worshippers in the UK. This situation contrasts profoundly with the BBCs continued refusal to commission programming exploring moral and ethical issues from a non-religious, humanist perspective.’
For further comment or information, contact Pepper Harow on 020 7462 4992.
The British Humanist Association (BHA) is the national charity representing and supporting the growing population of ethically concerned, non-religious. It is the largest organisation in the UK campaigning for a secular state and an end to discrimination based on religion or belief.